Undergraduate Study

There are many ways to study evolution at UW Madison. Below are several opportunities that undergraduate students can use to get more involved with the evolution community on campus. 


Wisconsin Evolution maintains a Slack group for undergraduates interested in evolution. This is a venue for students to meet one another and find out about academic and social opportunities on campus. You can sign up with a @wiscedu email here.

Biology Major: Evolution Option

The undergraduate Evolutionary Biology option allows Biology majors to concentrate their studies in evolution and to have this reflected on their transcript. Since there is no Evolutionary Biology major available at UW-Madison, this is the only mechanism to indicate specialization in this rapidly growing and popular field. In taking this option students will be able to fulfill their intermediate/advanced biology requirement with courses that emphasize evolutionary biology, ranging from required courses in fundamental evolutionary biology to more advanced optional courses that cover a wide range of evolutionary biology topics. Students also participate in the required Undergraduate Evolution Seminar course, which meets with the Evolution Seminar Series both semesters. 

For more information, contact:

Nicole Perna, Chris Hittinger (Evolution Seminar course instructors)

Brittany Magrady (Biology Major Advisor)

Nathaniel Sharp (Biology Major Program Committee Rep.)

Independent Research Opportunities

Undergraduate research is an important opportunity to get hands-on experience with the concepts that you learn about in class. Many departments provide opportunities for students to earn course credits while participating in hands-on research. There are also a number of courses and programs to help you become involved in research, including the Undergraduate Research Scholars Program, WISCIENCE, and the Independent Project component of Biology 152. Additional opportunities are listed here. If you are looking for potential mentors whose research includes evolution, we suggest you start with faculty affiliated with Wisconsin Evolution. Consult the undergraduate coordinator of your program for details about Independent Study opportunities. Undergraduates can also obtain fellowship support for research through several programs, listed here